Grand Forks Air Force Base investigates video recorder found in women's locker room
GRAND FORKS - The discovery of a video recorder hidden in a women's locker room at the Grand Forks Air Force Base has prompted a military investigation, authorities announced Wednesday.
The digital recorder, which was found inside a locker, contained video footage of a portion of the main women's locker room in the base's fitness center, according to a news release from the base.
"Investigators confirmed that no portion of the showers or restrooms was recorded," the release stated.
Second Lt. Anastasia Wasem, a spokeswoman for the base, would not confirm whether any people, dressed or undressed, could be seen on the video, but she said a female investigator was reviewing the footage.
"The video is being looked at for any potential victims," Wasem said, adding that any victims will be notified.
Wasem said an active-duty member of the Air Force is considered a suspect, but would not provide the suspect's name or other details. The suspect was placed under "military control" on Jan. 16, the same day the recorder was found, she said.
In the military judicial system, being put under military control is similar to being taken into custody. The 319th Security Forces Squadron, an Air Force version of the Army's Military Police Corps, is conducting the investigation.
In the wake of the unsettling discovery, other base facilities were inspected, but no other recording devices were found.
"The base is developing procedures to routinely inspect all restrooms and locker areas and, in particular, examine our access procedures for the locker rooms at the gym," Wednesday's release said.
Asked how the suspect might have gotten into the women's locker room and if the suspect worked at the gym, Wasem declined to comment.
"This person has to have all of their legal rights, so we can't release information like that," she said.
Wasem said it's not known how long the recorder was in the locker. Nor did she know what size or type of recorder it was. She would not say how the recorder was detected, what area of the locker room was recorded or how long the footage lasts.
Criminal charges are possible, but officials could not say whether charges would be filed in the military or civilian judicial system.
Wasem said base residents have been concerned about the discovery of the recorder, but would not elaborate on their worries.
"Just to respect the privacy of the victims, you know, I really can't speak for any potential victims there may be," she said.
Wasem said nobody in the base's public affairs office, including herself, has heard of similar incidents occurring at the base in the past.
"This appears to be an isolated incident," Col. John Quinn, vice commander of the 319th Air Refueling Wing, said in a written statement. "Like any case, suspects are innocent until proven guilty. However, we take our military mission very seriously - to include taking care of our people. We'll continue to do everything we can to produce outstanding Airmen and citizens for America."
The base is home to about 2,300 men, women and children.